Social media has become a conduit to your customer base – a way to take the en mass temperature of your target market. No one discounts the value in that, but the immediacy of this relationship has created some myths that are worth dispelling.
1. Despite what you may think, social media is not free.
2. The feedback might be instantaneous, but the results and returns are not.
3. These platforms should not be used as a replacement for exemplary customer service.
Let's look at the true benefits social media has to offer.
The Picture of Social Authenticity: 5 Customer-Centric Practices every Business should "Follow"
We've put together a list of socially acceptable practices that will get you farther as a company and farther with the customers who drive the success of that company.
Best Practice #1: Respond with informed empathy. The number one rule of social media is: you have to use it to benefit from it. That means following it every day. When a customer tweets or posts a complaint or problem on one of the sites, you are on-hand to listen and respond sympathetically.
Best practice #2: Respond 100% of the time. It's estimated that up to 60% of brand-name businesses don't respond to complaints lodged on social media platforms. Their mistake is your opportunity. If someone complains, respond – always respond. Deleting their complaint makes you look like "the bad guy." Responding to it both publicly and privately makes you a problem-solver. Which brand persona do you think customers respect and re-post more often?
Best Practice #3: Make it personal. Social media was not designed to sell products; it was designed to share personal stories. Use it in the wheelhouse it was designed for. Relate your customers through personal business stories and they will purchase your products by proxy.
Best Practice #4: Be authentic; be grateful. When you are your most honest self, people are driven to do business with you. Make authenticity part of your brand identity. In addition, make thankfulness part of your daily social routine. Thank customers, employees, and partners regularly. This habit will keep people coming back to your company.
Best Practice #5: Find the customer in the haystack and create a free-flow of information. Social media has given us the opportunity to reach not only thousands of people, but to effectively reach a pool of targeted customers. Use this fact to your advantage when advertising. Also, give information away for free and it will expand your customer base exponentially because you are willing to part with valuable resources to gain the trust of your customers.
At Pristine Screens, we practice what we preach. This is the social media model we follow to promote our screen cleaners. It allows us to premier, showcase, and explain how our screen cleaners work and how they benefit businesses as well as customers. The model has worked so favorably for our screen cleaners’ line that we wanted to pass it along to you.